LONDON AND CAVERSHAM, BERKSHIRE, UK AND SOMALIA
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) External Services have been broadcasting around the world for 50 years.
LONDON AND CAVERSHAM, BERKSHIRE, UK AND SOMALIA
1. LONDON, UK. Montage of tourist sites. Trafalgar Square. Horseguards, Parade. Trafalgar Square. Tower Bridge. Harrods. London Bus with sign changing. London Bus passing exterior of Bush House. Statue on front of building. BBC flag. Entrance with people going in. Sign "External Services" (17 shots) 0.23
2. MONTAGE SPLIT SCREEN Various foreign correspondents reading news 0.46
3. LONDON, 1941 (MONO) GV EXTERIOR Bush House. INTERIOR General de Gaulle speaking in French (2 shots) 0.57
4. LONDON. BUSH HOUSE, 1982 (COLOUR) INTERIOR GV PAN Clocks showing world times. CUs Journalists monitoring news from Poland (5 shots) 1.24
5. SV & CU Managing Director, Douglas a Muggeridge interviewed by Visnews' Chris Travers (ENGLISH SOT) 2.14
6. CAVERSHAM, NEAR READING, BERKSHIRE, UK, GV INTERIOR PAN FROM Central switchboard TO various personnel monitoring overseas' broadcasts. CUs monitors. SCU Main input monitor plugging in switchboard (9 shots) 2.56
7. BUSH HOUSE, LONDON, 1982 (MUTE) CU Clock. PAN DOWN Recording cubicle with newsreader. SVs Foreign newscasters and correspondents (10 shots) (SOUND) 3.14
8. SOMALIA, 1982: GVs & SVs Local people listening to broadcast on radio (5 shots) 3.30
9. BUSH HOUSE, LONDON, 1982: SVs Arabic, Chinese and Spanish newscasters (3 shots) 3.54
10. SV PAN UP TO Soviet newscaster. Recording spools. SCU Soviet newscaster (3 shots) 4.12
11. EXTERIOR GVs Bush House 4.20
SPEECH TRANSCRIPT (SEQ. 5):
TRAVERS: "Why do you think the service is so popular?"
MUGGERIDGE: "Because you have the best and most accurate news service perhaps in the world; because you have some of the most enjoyable programmes and because, probably, in many parts of the world people are starved of news and information and that is why they turn to an organisation like the BBC for enlightenment but finally, and I think this is the ultimate essential of success in world broadcasting, and that is it is not enough to tell the truth, as indeed we do, it is also vitally important that truth is believed and that I think is where the BBC's great success lies. We are believed: and that is tremendously important. In fact, credibility is all."
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Background: LONDON AND CAVERSHAM, BERKSHIRE, UK AND SOMALIA
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) External Services have been broadcasting around the world for 50 years. The service never sleeps: broadcasting goes on around the clock, 700 hours a week in English and 36 other languages. For people throughout the world the programmes emanating from the headquarters at Bush House in London are the voice of Britain. Ironically, the service has been subject to cutbacks at a time when many countries are on the verge of massive overseas broadcasting expansion but the fact remains that the 50th anniversary is a cause for celebration on a global scale.
SYNOPSIS: London as the centre of the world's news. When the Empire Service, as it was then known, first went on the air on December 19, few could have foreseen its later development. It was the Second World War which gave the service its modern day stature and reputation. The bulletins became compulsive listening or all countries and the reputation for unbiased reporting was established.
Now the service has a regular world-wide listenership of more than 100 million people. It not only has the largest global audience of nay international broadcaster but also the highest audience figure over recorded in its 50 year history.
During the war the BBC was broadcasting in English and seven foreign languages. At the end of the war it was speaking to the whole world in 45 languages. At the end of the war it was speaking to the whole world in 45 languages. General de Gaulle virtually mobilised the Free French Army from Bush House.
After the War the service continued to grow. The programmes to India in English appealed to intellectuals. Some of the best of British culture was broadcast with authors like T.S. Eliot, E.M. Forster and George Orwell taking part. In 1946, a service to the Soviet Union was started but with the onset of the Cold War this was frequently jammed. The service has also been jammed in Poland. Visnews' reporter Chris Travers interviewed the managing Director of External Services Douglas Muggeridge.
Part of this credibility is established through the close liaison between Bush House and the BBC monitoring service at Caversham west of London. Since it began in 1939 a great deal of information gleaned from the world's airwaves has been passed on to various Ministries. These monitors, who work for External Service, sit with headphones over their ears listening to broadcasts from various parts of the world. The service has been reduced from its war-time peak of close on a thousand people to about four hundred. Over the years it had built up many firsts in international news: it latest scoop was the news of the imposition of martial law in Poland which was flashed around the world from Caversham.
There re 52 studios in Bush House producing a daily schedule of more than 50 news and current affairs broadcasts. Unlike the rest of the BBC the External Services are not funded by the licence fee. The cost of running the service -- bout 100 million dollars -- comes directly from the government. As such it is extremely vulnerable to cut-backs.
Services like this to Somalia have been threatened. For many people in so-called third world countries the BBC is the voice of editorial independence. It has gained a reputation abroad for truthfulness and objectivity.
Many of the World News bulletins are relayed simultaneously by up to 20 different stations around the world. In all there are about 3,000 separate re-broadcasts each week of individual programmes by radio in some 50 countries.
For people all around the world Bush House is a relay station of news and views. The 50th anniversary will be celebrated everywhere: from African villages where the evening news is a daily to the Far East where the service has built up a cult following.
Source: BBC/REUTERS LONDON